Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Heated coats, folding ebikes, and more

Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Heated coats, folding ebikes, and more

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there – alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. That said, keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Ravean Rugged — durable heated jacket

A good, warm coat is a must for the colder months — but if you need more warmth than normal insulation can provide, you should check out Ravean’s newest gizmo on Kickstarter: Ravean Rugged. “Like its predecessors, Rugged features multi-zone, on-demand heat that can be directed when you need it and where you need it most,” Ravean co-founder Bryce Fisher claims. “But it also includes new features including the world’s first patented heated thumb-hole cuffs, designed to keep your hands warm while your fingers and thumbs are free to handle intricate work.”

This new jacket is heated in both the core and back (as well as the cuffs), so you’ll be enveloped in a cozy cocoon the moment you slip it on. Rugged features three different temperature settings, and depending on which one you choose, can provide heat for anywhere between 2.2 to 6.5 hours — all thanks to its built-in 10,050mAh battery. And if you ever run out of juice, the jacket is compatible with most major power tool batteries, so it should be pretty easy to find a replacement power pack.

Rubbee — ebike add-on

If you’re looking to upgrade your traditional bicycle to an ebike, then you generally have two options: either install a complicated retrofit kit, or ditch your analog bike altogether and buy a ready-made electric one. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an easier option? Well, thanks to Austrian startup Rubbee, there finally is. Unlike most of other retrofittable ebike kits out there right now, the Rubbee is designed to be installed in just a few minutes. Using basic hand tools, the device can be affixed to just about any bicycle. Once you’ve got the mounts on, the electric drive module can be clipped on or off in seconds.

“Rubbee X works by providing electric assist directly to the rear tire via an electric friction roller,” Gediminas Nemanis, CEO of Rubbee, told Digital Trends’ Luke Dormehl in an interview. “It has modular batteries to extend the rides, regenerative braking, and not a single wire. We track the pedaling pattern by attaching a small wireless sensor to the pedal crank. This way, we know when and how much additional support to provide to the rider in real time. There are no buttons to push; just pedal and your power will be multiplied 2 to 3 times. It’s a pure electric assist system.”

Pluto — ultracompact SLA 3D printer

Back when 3D printing was just beginning to make its way into the mainstream, the only printers available to consumers relied on more or less the same technique to create parts — a process known as filament deposition modeling, or FDM. It’s the type of 3D printing you’ve probably seen before: a printer feeds a strand of plastic filament through a hot nozzle, then carefully deposits the molten goo onto a build plate, layer by layer, to create a 3D object. This is by far the most popular kind of 3D printer, but lately, a technology known as stereolithography has moved in to steal some of the spotlight.

Stereolithography, or SLA, creates objects by flashing a laser up into a pool of photo-reactive resin, which hardens when struck by UV light. Due to the precision of this technique, SLA printers typically create much better parts than FDM printers do. The only problem, however, is that these kinds of printers have been prohibitively expensive for the past few years, so most people haven’t had access to them — but that’s beginning to change. Right now, you can get the Pluto for around $800 on Kickstarter — which is pretty amazing.

Plankpad — gamified balance board

Let’s face it: for those of us not named Brock Lesnar or Arnold Schwarzenegger, working out can be kind of dull. That’s an issue that a new Kickstarter campaign hopes to solve. Hailing itself as “the world’s first interactive core trainer,” the Plank Pad is a home gym device that promises to sculpt you some killer abs by letting you play interactive fitness games on your smartphone. This should make the whole experience less of a drag, and hopefully make it easier to get in the habit of working out on a regular basis.

Here’s how it works. You start by downloading the accompanying Plankpad app on your smartphone and choosing a game. After that, just place your phone in the Plankpad’s recessed phone holder and start planking! As you play, you need to tilt and lean to move your character around, which helps target different muscles and provides a fuller workout. The board can also be used as a traditional balance board, allowing you to play games while standing up. You can even sync the app to your TV screen if you prefer to play games on a bigger display.

X1 Explorer — folding electric commuter bike

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: humanity is living in the golden age of rideable technology right now. In the past few years, electric motors have become smaller and more powerful, and batteries have begun to last longer — two trends that have coalesced and kicked off a renaissance in personal mobility devices. There are almost too many rideables to keep track of anymore, and they seem to get crazier and more advanced with each passing month. The latest addition to this burgeoning trend is the X1 Explorer — a folding, ultracompact electric bike designed for commuters.

Small and relatively lightweight, the X1 Explorer weighs just 44 pounds, making it more portable than most other ebikes on the market. In its standard riding mode, it resembles a compact bike with 10-inch wheels, a suspension system for smoothing out the ride, and a built-in LED light. Despite its svelte size, the Explorer boasts some admirable specs. The bike’s standard battery offers a range of up to 25 miles, while an optional larger battery pack can extend that distance out to as much as 37 miles. Both batteries allow the bike to cruise along at speeds approaching 19 miles per hour.  When the Explorer runs out of juice, you won’t have to wait long to get back out on the road, as the included wall adapter can allegedly recharge the bike in less than four hours.

Published at Sun, 26 Nov 2017 17:15:30 +0000

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